American Fiqh Council Issues Fatwa on Ramadan, Taraweeh, and `Eid

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As Muslims anticipate the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA)اhas issued a statement related to the celebration of the holy month and the challenges facing Muslims with the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“The Fiqh Council is praying with the Muslim Community that we all reach Ramadan in safety and with health,” FQNA said in a statement online

📚 Read Also: Tips for the Best Ramadan Ever!

“The blessing that the answered prayers during Ramadan bring
could not come at a more needed time with the challenges we are facing with COVID-19.”

The fatwa was written by Dr. Ossama Bahloul, resident Scholar / Imam of the Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN), and approved by the Fiqh Council on April 8, 2020.

It dealt with a number of issues affecting the Muslim community, including fasting Ramadan, giving Zakat and praying Taraweeh and `Eid prayer.

On fasting, FQNA said, “The obligation to fast Ramadan
remains the same; medical issues are to be determined by trustworthy doctors
that have an understanding of our way of fasting.”

“Personal concerns or worries alone cannot be a reason for a person to abstain from fasting.  Vulnerable persons should consult with their doctor before a decision is made.  Fasting during Ramadan is one of the major Pillars of Islam and should not be taken lightly.”

A similar opinion was echoed earlier this month by Al-Azhar, the highest institution of Sunni Islamic authority. The Fatwa said that Muslims should fast during Ramadan regardless of the coronavirus outbreak.

American Fiqh Council Issues Fatwa on Ramadan, Taraweeh, and `Eid - About Islam

Praying Taraweeh

As the mosques remain shut, many Muslims are concerned about whether they can pray Taraweeh or not.

The fatwa said that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) prayed Taraweeh with the congregation only for few nights.

“If the current circumstances remain the same, the Fiqh Council encourages people to pray with their family in their homes. Those who do not know the Qur’an by heart, are allowed to hold it in hand and read from the Mushaf in Taraweeh prayer.”

`Eid Prayer

FQNA added that `Eid is Sunnah according to the major
Islamic schools of thought. Yet, it is Wajib (mandatory) according to the
Hanafi school.

Yet, keeping in mind the justifications given in the previous fatwas concerning public gatherings, the fatwa said it can be performed at home.

The Imam’s of local Islamic Centers can give a live Khutbah
that can be streamed at homes at a time that suits the local community’s needs,”
the fatwa said. 

“People can pray 2 Rakat in their homes together and share gifts,” it added, stressing that this ruling applies only if the world remains under the threat of COVID-19.

A few days ago, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, said that a virtual Jumu`ah and Taraweeh prayer could be performed as mosques remain shut.

The renowned scholar referred to instants in the Islamic history where the interpretation of texts varied according to time and place.

A few days ago, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Canada, said that a virtual Jumu`ah and Taraweeh prayer could be performed as mosques remain shut.

The renowned scholar referred to instants in the Islamic history where the interpretation of texts varied according to time and place.

📚 Read the full article of Sheikh Kutty: COVID-19: Holding Virtual Jumu`ahs and Taraweeh Prayers

Paying Zakat

FQNA stressed the importance of giving zakat to support those afflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the impact COVID-19 is having in our community (decrease in salary, job loss, increase in medical care, etc.) it is important to highlight the lawfulness of paying Zakat before it is due,” the fatwa read.

“The Fiqh Council encourages the members of the community to
reach out with assistance to their brothers and sisters in need.”

 A similar note was
given pertaining to the zakat Al-Fitr.

“We encourage our community to do whatever they can to ease the suffering of those around them. So, Sadaqat Al-Fitr may be paid anytime during the month of Ramadan to the time of the start of Salat Al-`Eid [`Eid prayer].” 

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